27 March 2020
Winner of the Scott Moncrieff Prize Linda Coverdale has donated her prize money (£1,000) to fellow translator Gilles Mourier.
Linda Coverdale (pictured) won the 2019 Scott Moncrieff Prize – part of the Society of Authors’ Translation Prizes – earlier this year but was unable to attend the awards ceremony in February 2020. Coverdale decided to donate the £1,000 prize money to a friend, Gilles Mourier, whom she describes as ‘someone of great accomplishment and dedication’.
‘I found the Scott Moncrieff Remembrance of Things Past in my parents’ bookshelves when I was twelve, and never looked back,’ Coverdale said, ‘so imagine my acute disappointment at missing the award ceremony and the chance to express my gratitude for this wonderful honour! Suddenly deciding to pass the prize money along to another literary translator, however, I felt instantly at peace again.’
The Scott Moncrieff Prize is an annual award of £1,000 for translations into English of full-length French works of literary merit and general interest. It is awarded each year at the Translation Prizes ceremony, hosted by the Society of Authors in London.
On receiving the donation, Gilles Mourier says:
Translating foundational modern American poetry from English into French is my passion, and my reward has been to see these texts, handsomely presented, launched into the world. Following the lead of my late friend and éditeur Jean-Paul Rocher, I am about to self-publish my rendition of Emily Dickinson’s complete body of poems in a dual-language edition. That my friend and fellow translator Linda Coverdale has donated her prize money from the 2019 Scott Moncrieff Prize to this endeavour offers the promise of hopeful times yet to come, as Europe as a whole clamps down, and I am most grateful to the Society of Authors for making this welcome contribution possible.
Scott Moncrieff winner Linda Coverdale adds:
A long time ago, at a loft party in downtown Manhattan, I met a young writer named Gilles Mourier, who became one of my oldest and best friends. Over the years I have been privileged to enjoy his translations into French of, among others, Walt Whitman, the redoubtable Wallace Stevens (practically the complete works!), and now Emily Dickinson. I like to think that Scott Moncrieff would have been delighted to see this prize serve the art of translation in such a magnificent endeavour!